Is This Thing Still On?!

Oh hai there!! It’s been a while…like, a long while. I really did mean to come back and write a quick recap of the Buffalo Creek Half, and then things got crazy (as usual) and I forgot. Then when I finally came back to WordPress, I couldn’t remember my password and locked myself out of my account. My bad. But I finally got it unlocked, so the quickest way to get back into things is with bullet points, and cat pictures.

  • I ran a 2:11:07 at the BCHM (a 7:16 PR!!!)! I was not expecting that at ALL and was on a runner’s high for days after! My game plan had been to start with Jennifer, and then around mile 5 or 6 go on ahead if I felt up to it. Then, at mile 10 speed things way up and race the last 5K. The weather was perfect for racing and around mile 4.5 or so I waved goodbye and went off on my own. The trail is SO PRETTY that time of year – I had to remind myself to keep running and not stop and just take pictures. I stuck to my plan really well at when I saw 2:11 on the clock at the finish I was stunned!
Shooter was cool with the race medal

Shooter was cool with the race medal

  • I don’t think I’ll be running the Pittsburgh Half 😦 . When registration opened I was just starting my classes and wasn’t sure I would have the time to train for that. By the time I decided I would probably be able to pull it off, registration was $100. I am a total cheapskate so there is no way I am paying over 100 bucks to run a half marathon. I know sometimes as it gets closer to race day, people sell their registration if they can’t run it so if I can find someone doing that (or a giveaway) I might give it a shot (and if my schedule cooperates). I’m a little sad to not be running it, because I’ve done some form of the half or full since 2012 but I’ll survive. Somehow.
Wilbur still can't hide. And I love it - I hope he never figures it out!

Wilbur still can’t hide. And I love it – I hope he never figures it out!

  • Speaking of school, I finished my first full semester of school about two weeks ago! WITH A 4.0!!! I worked my ass off for that, so pardon me for just a quick second while I brag about it 😀 !! Now that I have a few classes under my belt, I really do think I’m getting the hang of it. At first, I was operating under the assumption that I wasn’t spending every.single.waking.moment. on my school work then I was going to fail. I slowly learned that was not the case, and frankly, just not realistic. I really want to do a full post on that, just in case someone out there is in the same boat.I’m on break until the 10th and I am loving it!

D-U-N, DONE! Can you tell I was a little excited?

  • I may not be partaking in the Pittsburgh Half (or full) but I think I AM running a full marathon next year! Yessiree!! After giving some thought, I’m pretty sure I’m going to run the Harrisburg Marathon next November! There are some logistical things to work out, but I’m sure that it will work. As I mentioned, I’m getting better at managing my school work, and I feel pretty confident that I’ll be able to get in the training. I also already decided that I am just NOT setting a time goal for this race. For real, this time. I’m going to run this race 100% by heart rate, and whatever happens….happens. I just can’t handle finishing with another disappointing time. If I don’t set a goal time, I can’t be disappointed…right?! Sure..
These guys know how to relax

These guys know how to relax

..

 

I’ll keep this short – there is SO MUCH to talk about that I basically have nothing to say.

Give me a quick update on your life?! What did I miss? Are we still friends?

What did Santa bring you for Christmas?

 

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I’m still here. I think.

You guys. I’m not sure how this happened, but I am already completing my first 8 week semester of school. Technically the semester ends tonight at midnight , but being the overachiever that I am, I finished everything yesterday. THANKYOUDEARSWEETBABYJESUS!!!!!!

dearlordbabyjesus

 

I’m feeling pretty confident about things and am pretty sure *knock on wood* that I will get A’s in both of my classes, so I’ll just have to be patient (lol) and wait for grades to be posted. I have been so busy with school that posting was just not happening, but, I have so many things to talk about that I don’t even know where to start! So I’ll just jump right in.

I’m still running the Buffalo Creek Half tomorrow and, despite my utter lack of training, I am still looking forward to it! With exactly 1 double digit long run (2 weeks ago) under my belt, I don’t have high hopes for the outcome but that’s A-OK. There are 0 goals – just have fun!  I can’t have my cake and eat it too, you know?

Did someone say cake?

Did someone say cake?

My training for this race really didn’t go as planned. At all. Back when I first said I was going back to school, I was delusional and thought that I will still be able to run 3x a week with no problem, mon. but it didn’t work out that way. I’ll admit that a good part of that was totally on me. I put so much pressure on myself that for a while, I felt guilty if I wasn’t diligently working away on assignments.  I also felt a little overwhelmed, thinking that I made a mistake going back to school, and that this was never going to work. Eventually, I started to find a balance and realized that I did not need to be spending ALL of my time outside of my job doing homework. In fact, in the last week or two I’ve actually been able to take a night completely off! WOW! To be fair, there was a good amount of work that I had to get through each week but I learned how to manage it. The only problem is that juuuuuust as I feel like I’m getting a grasp on the situation and better learning how to manage my time….a new round of classes start on Sunday! Oy vey! Hopefully though, this time management will still apply to the new classes.

That was the really long explanation of why I didn’t train (at all) for this race. If you’re still reading…you deserve a medal. Or a hug. Or both.  I can deliver on one of the two…..I’ll let you decide which.

It's really up to you

It’s really up to you

 

I am hoping that in the next few days I can do a post talking about both of my classes, and my experiences with them.  At the very least, I’ll be back at some point late Saturday or Sunday with a race recap!! 

I’m hoping these cat pictures will win you back

Soooooo I’m hoping that the obnoxious amounts of cat pictures will make up for my absence. I was going to post a weekly recap, but considering last week was spent sick and on the couch…there wasn’t much to recap. My bad. I’m back at it this week, though, and will be running the Jane Neely Run for your Life 5K on July 4th. I had planned on training pretty hard for this but time just got away from me. It took a little longer than I anticipated to back to my usual running routine; to be perfectly honest…I just didn’t want to. Running felt like a chore. The hot and humid weather didn’t help matters, and I have really been enjoying the extra time spent with the kitties and Tall One. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still been running, just not much. I’m going to spend July getting back into my routine, and getting more comfortable training by heart rate so that I can train for the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon!! I’m excited to make up a plan, follow it, and hopefully set a brand spankin’ new PR!  I’ll save all of that for another post (or two…I need content!) and let you enjoy some cat shenanigans!

 

Screw you, Tuesdays.

Screw you, Tuesdays.

 

Where's Wilbur??

Where’s Wilbur??

 

What's up 'der???

What’s up ‘der???

 

Where's Wilbur?

Where’s Wilbur?

 

Not amused with my paparazzi tendancies

Not amused with my paparazzi tendencies

 

Editor in Chief

Editor in Chief

 

Miss Shooter

No clever caption…just my precious Shooter ❤

 

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Photobomber

 

What's for lunch??

What’s for lunch??

I’m finalizing my training plan for BCHM and hopefully will be able to share it soon!

 

Has everyone picked their fall race?? What is it? What’s your goal??

Post Marathon Thoughts (a month later, but that’s ok!)

Well, howdy! I posted my actual race recap and then disappeared for a while! I have been going non-stop since then and finally have a few moments to check in. I also need to catch up with everyone else – what have I missed?

A few more thoughts Post Race that I want to mention before we’re done talking about Pittsburgh and we move on to bigger and better things.

-I was in rough shape after. I couldn’t tell if I was STARVING or if I was going to throw up. I was a hot, sweaty, salty mess so the first order of business was a shower…but the thought of climbing the stairs was just too much so I laid in the foyer for a while with my feet propped up against the wall. Jen told me that helps with post-race soreness so I figured if I was going to lay there, I might as well make it productive. After a while, I decided I could venture up…but the stairs were too much of a challenge so I had to crawl up them like a toddler. From there, I still wasn’t sure if I was going to be sick or not and I still didn’t have the energy to stand long enough for a shower so I put my head on the cat bed and laid there for a little while longer.

Not. Moving.

Not. Moving.

Pretty sure the cats thought I was losing it.

"Get your sorry butt off the floor, and away from my bed"

“Get your sorry butt off the floor, and away from my bed”

After I finally showered, I put my robe on and laid it bed and it was soooo wonderfully soft. Wilber must’ve been really concerned because he crawled under the blankets and sat next to me for about 20 minutes. He usually only does this when I’m sick, so I knew I must have been giving off some bad vibes.

"It's OK, Ma. I'll take care of you"

“It’s OK, Ma. I’ll take care of you”

It also took me forever to eat. I was hungry, but after a few bites I would feel sick so it took me about 2 hours to get a Qdoba burrito bowl down when it normally takes about 6 seconds.

-NO sunburn and NO chafing. WAHOO. I sprayed about a half a bottle of sunblock on but wasn’t sure if it would last and I was so happy to see that it did. If you notice, in the pictures from the first half of the race I have a black armband on to hold my phone but by the time I finished it was gone. Somewhere between miles 17-20 I ditched that sucker – it was HOT, heavy and I could feel it rubbing funny on my arm so off it went. I stuffed my phone in the kangaroo pouch and it worked out just fine.  It was $6 from Big Lots, I’ll get over it.

-The course was NOT as bad as I thought it would be; Forbes Ave sucked big time, but I knew that it would.  The rest though wasn’t nearly as scary as my nightmares led me to believe.  Had the heat not kicked my ass, I’m pretty confident that I would have either met my 4:50 goal time or have been veeeeeeeerry close.

-Even though I didn’t get burned, I was still really over heated. It took 2 or 3 days before it felt like my body temperature returned to normal. I’m sure that sounds strange, but I just felt hot.

-Sadly, I did NOT take advantage of the VIP offerings after the race. There was a lunch buffet, massages, etc. but since I had both Tall One and mother in law with me (and they didn’t have passes), I thought it was rude to make them wait outside while I got a massage. Plus, I just wanted to get home.

-I thought about registering for the Harrisburg or Philadelphia Marathons in November, but didn’t. My original goal at the start of the year was to run this marathon, and spend the rest of the time focusing on speed. Lots of weekend 5Ks and a few half marathons are in my future. My current PRs are 28:09, and 2:18:xx respectively. I KNOW there are faster times in my legs; I ran the 10 miler at North Park in February and finished with a 1:40:xx and was still speeding up. I’m pretty confident in my ability to get my time down to at least 2:15, but more like 2:12ish especially if I run a flatter course.

-My co-workers are awesome. Not only did most of them come out on Race Day to support me, but I had this awesome surprise waiting for me when I got to work Monday morning. How lucky am I?

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-I WILL be back for Pittsburgh 2016. It is Game On 2.0, baby.

Soooooooooo, what have I missed?? Fill me in – I need details!

Beating the Taper – Spring Cleaning!!

We are officially in full taper mode right now (holy crap…IT’S RACE WEEK!!!!), and if you’re like me…you’re going nuts. I‘ve found the best way to beat this is to keep myself busy and catch up on things that I didn’t have the time, or energy, for during training.  The first way to occupy my time and mind is by cleaning!

My husband is a neat freak, but with 4 cats and me (he refers to me as Hurricane Amanda) things can still get messy. We dust/vacuum at least 3 or 4 times per week, and any clutter makes him twitch so things are normally pretty clean but there are somethings that can get overlooked. My Big 3 are:

                Light Fixtures/Ceiling Fans: Lamp Shades need vacuumed, and we take the actual glass fixtures down from the lights and ceiling fans and wash & dry them. We took every.single.glass pane off of our chandelier, washed, dried, and hung them back up.

So pretty when it's clean. Kind of like me...LOL!

So pretty when it’s clean. Kind of like me…LOL!

I can’t BELIEVE how much brighter it was in our house after! This doesn’t take a ton of time, but it is still a really good way to distract yourself! And when was the last time you cleaned the blades of your ceiling fans? We try to do ours monthly and they can get pretty gnarly.

                Pet Beds: 4 furry cats and boy, do they love their beds and cat trees.  Holy cannoli! I vacuumed all three beds (Peanut doesn’t ever use them, so we stopped trying to buy him one. He’s much happier using my pillow), and I’m pretty sure I could have made another full sized cat out of what was in the canister!

It's amazing how nasty these things get.

It’s amazing how nasty these things get.

I flip them inside out and use the brush attachment of the vacuum to get in all of the corners/folds.  We also have 2 cat trees (1 upstairs/1 downstairs) and when they aren’t in the beds, they’re on the trees.  They also need a thorough cleaning…and probably more often than they actually get.

             Vacuum Cleaner: Yes. You need to clean your cleaning supplies!!  

I vacuum the vacuum cleaner. WHAT?!

I vacuum the vacuum cleaner. WHAT?!

Again, I do this every couple of months (but should do it monthly) because the filters get clogged and bogged down. I just cleaned mine last week and I can’t believe how disgusting it was AND how much better it’s cleaning now!  I take the filter out, vacuum it off (yes, I have a vacuum cleaner to clean my vacuum) to get the excess dust off and then rinse it off under warm water.  I also wash out the canister and wipe everything down and let everything air dry for a day or two to make sure it’s completely dry; otherwise it can smell really musty the next time you turn that vacuum on! I’ve always referred to vacuums as sweepers, and was surprised one day when someone didn’t know what I was talking about. Is this a regional/Pittsburgh term, like gumband, that I don’t know about??

 

This is the look I get (x4) when I start the vacuum cleaner.

This is the look I get (x4) when I start the vacuum cleaner.

 

This is just one of the way I’m going to keep busy during my taper, but I have a few more fun posts about what I’m up to!

 

What are your “often forgotten” about places/things that you should probably go clean now?